70th birthday
by Michael Aufhauser

The Gut Aiderbichl founder celebrates anniversary

The vision of Gut Aiderbichl over 20 years ago

The transformation and the path to animal welfare began when Michael Aufhauser was on the Costa del Sol for work many years ago. He looked out of his office window and watched dog catchers catching street dogs and taking them away. He drove after them and witnessed how cats and dogs were gassed in a horrible way. The screams of the dying dogs never left him. Some had to wait for the next gassing. He bought them free and his thoughts and actions were to become visionary.

The desire to "save" became stronger and stronger: animals that were to be killed, abandoned, maltreated, no good for breeding, left in a cardboard box in front of Gut Aiderbichl or allowed to be taken from an experimental laboratory. On the farms of Gut Aiderbichl, they are assured a life until the natural end of their lives, as well as care, sufficient food and species-appropriate care.

 

 

Aufhauser's vocation - to give animals a voice - drove him forward. More and more animals were saved by his intervention and thus saved from a fatal fate. Michael Aufhauser was never shy of people or the media, perhaps also due to the drama school he graduated from. He was sure that if he wanted to draw attention to undignified living situations of animals, he had to get the media to help him. For only in this did he see a chance to change something. So he appeared on German television programmes and had the chance to draw attention to the catastrophic living situation of many animals and to make people think more and more. Aufhauser discussed with donkey owners in Greece. Traditionally, donkeys that can no longer perform their work are left to their own devices, tied up and abandoned to die. His language remained diplomatic and so a few years ago many rescued donkeys from Greece came to the farms of Gut Aiderbichl.

"When I look animals in the eye, I am lost".

(Michael Aufhauser)

In 2009, taking on the ex-lab monkeys was a pioneering step that proved that one of its life goals is to treat animals with respect. It was a matter of deciding whether to help the ex-lab monkeys or leave them to be sold or euthanised. Aufhauser was sure that this responsibility could be managed together with the help of the Aiderbichler.
Many of the ex-lab monkeys had lived in the cage of a research company in Austria for around thirty years. Because of their biological relationship to humans, the animals lived locked up in cramped cages and their bodies were used for research into medicines. Since 2009, the ex-lab monkeys have been living under the protection of Gut Aiderbichl. Slowly they helped themselves out of their trauma - the condition for this was a quiet, protected environment. The animals and the caretakers of the ex-lab monkeys have given each other the chance to build trust and respect for each other. One of the most beautiful photos that shows how much Michael Aufhauser was able to put himself in the animals' shoes is the one with Martha, an ex-lab chimpanzee. Martha's empty, sad look brought about his "YES, you should be allowed to live!

It was clear to Aufhauser that he could reach symptoms with animal rescues, but not the root of all evil. In order to achieve real situational improvements for the animals, animal protection also had to become human protection. He was sure that as long as we have to protect animals from humans, we have achieved nothing. Only when we no longer have to protect the animals will we have reached our goal. Then we will have changed something: US. Anyone who knows Michael Aufhauser knows that he was concerned with an all-encompassing humanity. We humans are not the crown. His vision for animal welfare encompasses everything: the globe, the human being. Everything that makes up nature and life. Society needs an all-encompassing humanity that embraces everyone. Grievances always need solutions. Aufhauser never raised his index finger, but sat down at the table with those responsible for animal suffering. He not only questioned the life situation of an animal, but also the circumstances why life had come to a dead end. He was always convinced that a turbo dairy cow could not be helped by an argument with the farmer.

His goal has always been clear: it is about constantly reminding people that an animal is not an object, but a sentient fellow creature. The language of Gut Aiderbichl should be a diplomatic, enlightening and helping language and not a language of argument. The aim was and is to help the animal into a good living situation. Michael Aufhauser makes such an importance out of a small field mouse that people can no longer help but take it seriously and pay respect to even a small mouse.

In 2015, Aiderbichl founder Michael Aufhauser suffered a stroke of fate - a sudden rupture of his aorta became an actual threat to his life. Miraculously, he survived this event. Today he lives in seclusion on his estate in Salzburg. He always said: Even if something happened to him, the animals would have to be fed the next day. He had made provisions for this sad moment
He had made provisions for this sad moment and, in accordance with his wishes, everything continued as usual with Gut Aiderbichl - for the sake of the animals.

Currently, the Gut Aiderbichl network consists of 30 international animal welfare communities in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France, Romania and Hungary. Over 6,000 animals have found a new
found a new home. For people who want to be close to the animals, there are three visitor farms. These include the founding farm in Henndorf near Salzburg, as well as one farm each in Iffeldorf near Munich and Deggendorf towards Passau.

Congratulations!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart and all the love

"Dear Michael,
you always said "birthday is not an achievement", but nevertheless I would like to pause on this day and congratulate you from the bottom of my heart. I would like to thank you for your foresight and for every moment we have experienced together in the so moving years of building up Gut Aiderbichl. It is thanks to your vision and foresight that today there is a unique project and a strong institution in the world for animals in need."

Yours, Dieter,

Dieter Ehrengruber Foundation Board of Directors

 

The entire Gut Aiderbichl team wishes Michael Aufhauser all the best for his 70th birthday. We say THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for his great commitment, his unconditional love for the animals and the creation of the unique animal welfare community Gut Aiderbichl.

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